After much speculation that Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star and social-media terror Lisa Rinna would skip out on this year’s BravoCon, the soap actress showed up in an attention-grabbing orange suit to a chorus of loud booing—and also some cheers—from the animated crowd, whom she gave the middle finger as she walked onstage.
Her appearance at the “Thrills in Beverly Hills” panel on Friday with the rest of her co-stars (sans Diana Jenkins) came as a surprise to most of the rowdy audience, given that she wasn’t included in this year’s talent roster when it was announced by Bravo in September. Notably, her behavior on social media throughout RHOBH’s 12th season—including posts discrediting viewers’ accusations of racism aimed at fellow housewife Garcelle Beauvais and insults toward the multiracial cast of Real Housewives of Dubai, among other controversies—has garnered intense backlash online, including calls for her termination.
The 59-year-old has also done a large amount of hinting toward the end of Beverly Hills’ current season that she would not return via Instagram posts. Not to mention her disastrous attempted takedown of friend and fan favorite Kathy Hilton that has been a point of mockery and ridicule among Bravo viewers. Overall, it seemed like a safer bet to avoid the ardent, boozy crowd, like the immensely loathed Jenkins (whose name was not even uttered at the panel save for a few sarcastic audience members).
Nevertheless, the walking PR disaster persisted, sauntering onto the Don’t Be Tardy Stage in Manhattan’s Javits Center with the swagger of a WWE villain. When a member of the audience shouted her famous catchphrase “Owning it?” early on in the panel, Rinna responded, “Owning it! Yes, baby!” to more boos and cheers. For the most part, her social-media antics were not interrogated at the primarily lighthearted roundtable hosted by Brad Goreski. The stylist and Real Housewives impersonator vaguely noted that she was a “disaster,” which Rinna agreed to, and jokingly suggested that she advise people on how to handle social media. “I could tell people what not to do,” Rinna laughed.
She also poked fun at her co-star Sutton Stracke, who wooed the audience with her self-deprecating humor.
“Y’all can try to beat me up again,” the 51-year-old joked in response to viewer’s comments about eccentric fashion. “I don’t care. I’m just gonna get up again!”
Stracke also had a rare emotional moment during the panel when she stated that she regretted not speaking up for her show BFF Garcelle Beauvais and her son Jax, who’s been the target of racist, presumably bot attacks on social media, during the season’s reunion that aired on Wednesday.
Overall, the panel was a mix of softball questions and overly intense reactions from Bravoholics, including some inquiring about Kyle Richards’ relationship with her sister Hilton.
As for Rinna, the question of whether or not she will be returning to the franchise went unanswered throughout the afternoon. If it turns out she’s actually done with the show, BravoCon was one hell of a last hurrah.